Landsat: The cornerstone of global land imaging

In Issue22 by FIEALeave a Comment

The Landsat satellites provide an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth’s land surface to help advance scientific research towards understanding our changing planet. In this article, the authors look at how the use of data from Landsat satellites has evolved over time to become a cornerstone of global land imaging with broad societal benefits. They conclude that the Landsat archive is poised to shift into a more real-time monitoring capability to help further our understanding of a changing Earth.

Since 1972, the Landsat satellites have provided an uninterrupted space-based data record of the Earth’s land surface to help advance scientific research towards understanding our changing planet. Early Landsat satellites generated a wealth of new data that improved mapping of remote areas and geological features along with digital analysis of vegetation.

Landsat’s spatial and spectral resolutions have advanced its use for broader societal benefits such as global crop forecasting, forest monitoring, water use, carbon assessments and as the basis for Google Maps. Landsat’s long-term data record provides an unrivalled resource for observing land cover and land-use change over a time scale of decades.

Click here for the full story, including sections on:

  • A revolutionary new view of our planet
  • Re-charting the planet
  • Realizing societal benefits
  • Evolving from analogue to digital
  • Growth of Earth science research from space
  • Free and open data policy unleashes full potential
  • Landsat Global Archive Consolidation initiative
  • Next generation of data-delivery and analysis-ready products
  • Towards 50 years of observations and beyond

Source: GIM International

Image Credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons

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